Unreasonable behaviour in the workplace includes victimising, humiliating, intimidating, or threatening. From whispering gossip by the water cooler to evading personal contacts via email, today’s workplace offers countless opportunities for these behaviours to arise. Workplace related violence can be any incident wherein a person is harassed, abused, threatened, or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work.
There is no single cause that makes people aggressive at work. An organisation’s leadership and company culture, as well as the quality of employee working relationships have an impact on the working environment – and ultimately one’s physical and mental health.
Workplace bullying can happen in any type of workplace, from offices, to retail stores, cafes, restaurants, workshops, community groups, and government organisations. It is important to understand that, should anybody in the workplace find a behaviour offensive, humiliating or intimidating and it relates to the things listed below, then it is harassment. Examples include:
- yelling, screaming or offensive language (in relation to their age, race, sexuality, domestic status, and disability)
- excluding or isolating employees
- psychological harassment
- assigning meaningless tasks unrelated to the job
- giving employees impossible jobs
- deliberately changed work rosters to inconvenience employees
- undermining work performance by deliberately withholding information vital for effective work performance.
An employer must do their best to make sure that every worker is safe in their workplace and is not being subjected to these adverse behaviours by a supervisor, fellow work colleagues, even customers and/or clients.
The best way to prevent any instance of workplace violence is to implement a clear Code of Conduct policy and have a zero-tolerance to breaches of that policy. This policy applies to everyone in the workplace and claims of any act of violence will be investigated appropriately. Establish a violence prevention discussion as part of the workplace safety training. A good training program can protect workers by teaching them to recognize, avoid and diffuse potentially dangerous situations. Everyone has a moral responsibility to help create a positive, safe workplace. If someone in your workplace is experiencing harassment or bullying, you can tell them about the steps they can take to solve it.
Workplace Emergency Management can come to your workplace and assess the condition of your Workplace Health and Safety by developing a detailed report on the working environment. This will identify areas in which improvements can be made and offer suggestions on actions, policies, and procedures to implement in the workplace to meet your obligations and requirements under the WHS Act and Australian Standards. Reach out to our team today for more info.
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